President Obama is urging Congress to extend tax breaks for wind power projects that are slated to expire at year’s end and expand stimulus-law tax incentives for manufacturing green energy components.
The energy credits are among a wider jobs “to do” list – which even comes with its own logo – that Obama will call on Congress to act upon at an appearance in upstate New York later Tuesday.
“Congress needs to help put America in control of its energy future by passing legislation that will extend the Production Tax Credit to support American jobs and manufacturing alongside an expansion of the 30 percent tax credit to investments in clean energy manufacturing (48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit),” the White House said.
The wind industy is lobbying heavily for renewal of the Production Tax Credit, which is vital to helping finance new power projects. New wind installations have dropped off significantly when the credit has been allowed to lapse, which last occurred in 2004.
The American Wind Energy Association, a trade group, warned in April that with the expiration looming, “the supply chain is feeling the uncertainty, and layoffs have now begun.”
While wind power has bipartisan support – Midwest and Great Plains Republicans are particular fans – extension of the credit this year is uncertain amid election-season political battles over green energy and other factors.
Separately, the 2009 stimulus provided $2.3 billion worth of credits for manufacturing equipment such as solar panel components, “smart” electric meters, fuel cell components and wind turbines.
Applications for the 30 percent credit far outstripped the $2.3 billion cap, but several congressional efforts to add billions of dollars to the cap have sputtered.